| paleface [sys=PCCD; cat=Shooter_Horiz; loc=JPN] |
|The vertical Spriggan goes horizontal in the somewhat unrelated sequel by Naxat and Compile. A technical tour-de-force for the PCE with impressive sprite rotation, parallax, simulated transparency and beam effects everywhere. Impressively produced as well, with kickin' music, really extensive story scenes between each of the numerous levels as well as tons of dialog sequences during gameplay--you can turn these off if you like, but they really give the game a sense of story and epic scope, when you see the same characters arriving on the scene, yelling at each other, getting hurt, etc. Most of the time you'll have one or more friendly units flying along fighting with you. It's neat stuff, more shooters should incorprate story like this. Of course it would be nice if they could do it in English, but I suppose one can't have everything (Bangai-O came as close as anything, I guess).|
The weapon system kicks boot-ay. Your powered armor has multiple built-in weapons including things like options, beam guns, plasma swords, explosive cannons, and homing missiles. You can pick between these at will, though most have limited ammunition--you get a heck of a lot though and they're refilled between stages, so there's really not much reason not to pull out the big guns from the get-go. Later on you get to select from different weapon loadouts between stages.
While firing off all these firecrackers, however, keep this in mind: your armor repairs itself while you aren't firing. So unless you're a lot better at not getting hit than I am, you have to strike a balance between firing and dodging-while-repairing. It's pretty neat, actually.
Like Gokuraku Chuka Taisen (see entry 522), the second button turns you around, so you can fire either left or right. The game doesn't make you do this all the time, for instance bosses almost always stay on the right side of the screen, but it will occasionally send waves of smaller dudes at you from alternating sides of the screen. This doesn't add a whole lot to the game, except you do have to be a little more on your toes than you would otherwise.
This is not a finesse game. Bullets and sprite-flicker abound, and you are going to take your lumps. Your self-repairing armor can take quite a beating if managed correctly, and that's a good thing since you only get one life (although they seem to allow unlimited continues... hey, I wanted to see the story, okay? :p). If you find yourself getting low on health, pull out a bigger gun, and/or try resting the trigger to heal up. Just save some rounds in the big beam guns for the inevitable boss, don't scrimp on using ammo in the other guns, and you should come through okay most of the time. Just be ready to blow up a lot of stuff.